Engaging Men and Boys in Promoting Gender Equality and Preventing HIV
- 15 October 2009
DAKAR, Senegal – Nearly 35 participants from UNFPA country offices in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab States, Asia and Europe, along with partners from governments and the civil society, met here this week to reflect on the most appropriate and efficient strategies to fully engage men and boys in the promotion of gender equality and in the prevention of HIV.
This consultation will inform UNFPA strategy for engaging men and boys in gender equality and HIV.
“Men have an essential role to play when it comes to the issue of gender equality,” said Ndèye Khady Diop, the Senegalese Minister of Family Affairs, Food Security, Women’s Entrepreneurship, Microfinance and Early Childhood in her opening remarks. “Change cannot be the role or duty of only one group or only one social category…. It is urgent to find the ways and means to secure an improved engagement of men and the youth in the combat against HIV.”
Studies conducted in Senegal have revealed that the cooperation of men and boys is needed to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV and have also underscored the need to make men special allies in the action to combat the violence against women, according to Mrs. Rose Gakuba, the UNFPA representative in that country.
At the meeting, participants shared experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of the policies and programmes integrating the engagement of men and boys in sexual and reproductive health, including family planning and female genital mutilation, gender equality, women’s empowerment, fatherhood and HIV.
The meeting builds on the Rio Call for Action, drafted at the Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality.